Guest Columns

The Good Zombie: A Halloween Treat

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By Michael Gold

Despite the fact that I eat human brains, I emit zero carbon. Think about that.

I’ve actually tried going vegan, unlike the vast majority of other zombies, who denigrate anyone who goes off humans as a soy boy.

Unfortunately, I have found that eating arugula and Belgian endive is bad for my digestion. It’s embarrassing when you just can’t prevent yourself from passing gas as you’re standing in a crowded subway car or contemplating Hopper’s “Second Story Sunlight” at the Whitney.

(I must confess that I spend a lot of time with paintings of humans due to my various hungers, but I look at this habit as an acceptable moral substitute for actual slaughter.)

Also, I don’t know how this is possible, but the greens threw off the efficacy of my thyroid medication, so I was taking a terrible risk every time I ordered a spinach salad.

That forced me to go back to eating brains, even though I actually didn’t want to.

I feel rather guilty every time I have to make a deep dive into the medulla oblongata. Munching on the cerebral cortex, which I sauté with hoisin sauce, is especially painful for me, psychologically speaking.

My therapist has recommended various exercises to try to get over this, like partaking in mindfulness meditation, doing restorative yoga, keeping a journal, regularly posting my thoughts on Medium and reminding myself every morning that I have intrinsic worth.

Watching Oprah helped a lot too, but then she stopped doing the program on broadcast and now I have to buy an Apple TV subscription to get her new show.

I’m not like all those other zombies who have purchased every cable package known to man. A conscience-stricken zombie has to draw the line somewhere, even if he’s constantly vilified for it on Twitter, Reddit and Facebook.

I try to wear their condemnation as a badge of honor, but sometimes I falter in my steadfastness to resist the madness of the crowd.

I have actually been sued by other zombies for violating zombie laws like walking without dragging my feet. I’m sorry. This is really bad for your posture, and you will pay in your zombie old age with a bad back.

Despite the obvious status advantages, a zombie should never wear lifts in his shoes. Again, good posture should be your highest priority, to keep your back as healthy as possible, for as long as possible.

Also, it should not be a crime to try to groom yourself, to look as good as possible for the ladies.

But I won’t exfoliate, because you never know if a little piece of your face is going to fall off if you try it. Also, you have to be careful where you splash on the eau de parfum. It has essential oils, which helps preserve the plasticity of your cheeks, but never put it on your throat, or you might erode cartilage.

Dry scalp shampoo is the life saver for my hair. Never use anti-frizz or thickening agents, trust me on this.

Foot deodorant is also absolutely necessary. You know how far a zombie can walk in a day? One must always be considerate of others’ delicate olfactory systems.

A travel bag is a must for every zombie, to carry snacks if nothing else. You never know when you’ll need to munch on a stick of dried finger jerky. The un-dead have infinite streets to roam, which burns uncountable calories.

Finally, I refuse to watch “The Walking Dead,” any of its multitudinous spin-offs and all zombie movies. It’s pure, unbounded vanity that exceeds the outer limits of good taste to want to see yourself constantly on screen. Where does it all end? With “The Real Zombie Housewives of Podunk-Ville?”

I don’t need an award or any formal recognition whatsoever for my positions, but I haven’t had a hug in years.

Pleasantville resident Michael Gold has had articles published in the New York Daily News, the Albany Times Union, The Virginian-Pilot, The Palm Beach Post, other newspapers, and The Hardy Society Journal, a British literary journal.

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